Japan has a law that requires cameras to make a beeping noise, shutter noise when a picture is taken. This is to protect people from perverts, or any other unwanted pictures taken. Camera phones, DS’s anything with a camera is required to make some sort of noise to let people know a picture has been taken.
The law was intended to help prevent criminals, unfortunately anyone who is motivated could either buy a foreign camera, or in the case of phones, download an app that disables the feature. The law is very easily bypassed, and only leads to really annoying sounds on the cameras.
There are many great camera companies, Sony, Canon, Olympus, Fuji, Nikon, Panasonic, and Pentax. The finest cameras in the world come from Japanese companies, it might seem logical that buying from Japan would save you money, and ensure the best products, this is not true. The cameras are the same, almost anything they sell they sell in the states, you will however not get your instruction manual in English, and your camera will make annoying noises. Japan tries whenever it can to make the prices the same in Japan and in the U.S. so it will not save you money to buy cameras here. Japanese cameras usually have pretty good warranties, but they will be based on the country of origin.